Please speak up against genocide of Palestinians

Fri, Mar 15, 2024


Kathleen Ruff,

Please care about human rights. Please let it not be said that you stayed silent and complicit in genocide, as the Canadian, U.S. and Western governments are doing. Please click and send the letter (see below).

Why is our Canadian government supporting apartheid?

The evidence is indisputable that Palestinians have for decades been forced by the Israeli government to live under an apartheid system. Leading international human rights organisations, such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, as well as Israeli human rights organisations, like B’Tselem, and leading Canadian human rights legal experts (Why is Canada rejecting evidence of Israeli apartheid against Palestinians?) have documented beyond any doubt the fact that Palestinians live under a system of apartheid which is a crime against humanity.

Former Israeli attorney general Michael Ben Yair agrees with the findings of Amnesty International:

“It is with great sadness that I must also conclude that my country has sunk to such political and moral depths that it is now an apartheid regime. It is time for the international community to recognise this reality as well.” Former Israeli attorney general Michael Ben Yai.

The Canadian government, without giving any explanation, thumbs its nose at the clear evidence and supports Israel’s apartheid system – Government of Canada Rejects Amnesty International’s Report, Reaffirms Solidarity with Israel.

Human rights die when a government, as the Canadian government is doing, denies clear evidence of crimes against humanity and refuses to give any explanation. This is the use of power without accountability. Canada is endorsing and empowering apartheid.

Democracy dies when a government, as the Canadian government is doing, denies clear evidence and refuses to give any explanation. This is the use of power without accountability. This is the killing of democracy.

Canadian government vilifies peaceful resistance to apartheid

Apartheid was ended in South Africa with the help of a peaceful, international boycott, sanctions and divestment (BDS) campaign. As world-respected author, Naomi Klein, states in We have a tool to stop Israel’s war crimes: BDS, it is time to support a BDS campaign to end the Israeli government’s enforcement of apartheid against Palestinians.

While having no problem endorsing apartheid, the Canadian government strenuously opposes and vilifies peaceful resistance to apartheid. As The Times of Israel reported, Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau blasted the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement as anti-Semitic and contrary to “Canadian values”.

Think about it. The Canadian government, whether under Conservative Prime Minister Harper or under Liberal Prime Minister Trudeau, endorses apartheid and condemns peaceful efforts to oppose apartheid. Peaceful support for human rights is apparently not a Canadian value. U.S. Republican President Trump and Democrat President Biden do the same. At the same time, Canada and the US tell the world we deeply support human rights. They should not believe us.

The U.S., Canada and our Western allies, all of whom have practised colonialism, support a definition of antisemitism which includes criticism of Israel as constituting anti-semitism. Jewish organisations, leading world experts on anti-semitism, human rights organisations such as Amnesty International and thousands of Jews in the U.S., Canada and around the world reject this definition as a way to silence criticism of the Israeli government and cover up crimes against humanity committed by the Israeli government against Palestinians.

We must denounce anti-semitism with every breath in our body. We must never forget the Holocaust and the slaughter of six million Jews by the German Nazi government.

This does not mean giving the Israeli government a free pass to carry out genocide and crimes against humanity.

Carrying out genocide against Palestinians, as Israel and its U.S., Canadian and Western allies are doing, will create a never-ending cycle of killing, hatred and bigotry and show to the world that our supposed commitment to human rights is false.

Unless we uphold human rights for all people, no-one has human rights. As Archbishop Desmond Tutu said in supporting the use of boycotts and sanctions to end Israeli apartheid against Palestinians:

“Those who turn a blind eye to injustice actually perpetuate injustice. If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.” Archbishop Desmond Tutu

Criticising the Israeli government is not anti-semitism

The Israeli government was the leading supplier of weapons to the white apartheid government of South Africa, Israel and apartheid: a marriage of convenience and military might.

At the same time, Jews in South Africa, like Joe Slovo who was jailed by the apartheid government and who Nelson Mandela appointed as a Minister in his government, as well as Jews around the world, played an important and courageous role in supporting the battle and supporting boycotts to end apartheid.

Rights Action, who have for decades supported solidarity and advocacy work in Central America, report how Israel supplied weapons and training to help the brutal military regime of Guatemala carry out genocide of the Mayan population of Guatemala:

During the worst years of scorched earth massacres and genocides, 1978-1983, Israel, the Chilean Pinochet regime, and the Argentinean Generals regime took turns in providing – as allies or “proxy states” of the U.S.- substantial military aid, weapons and training to the genocidal Guatemalan regimes. Sectors of the Guatemalan Army, that received training from Israel, began to refer to what they were doing as the “Palestinization” of the Mayan peoples.

  • It is not anti-semitic to condemn the actions of the Israeli government in assisting in carrying out the genocide of the Mayan peoples.
  • It is not anti-semitic to condemn the actions of the Israeli government in carrying out genocide right now of the Palestinian people.

The NDP has introduced a motion which calls for a ceasefire, release of all hostages, an arms embargo, war crimes investigations, and the recognition of Palestine as a state. Members of Parliament will vote on the motion on Monday March 18. Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East are calling on everyone to ask their MP and the political party leaders to vote for this motion. Click here to send your message. Over 27,000 emails have already been sent.

Please let it not be said that you stayed silent and complicit in genocide.

* * * * * is a human rights advocacy website. It was created by Kathleen Ruff from a concern that Canada is going backwards on human rights, both nationally and internationally. It receives no funding from anyone.

Brief bio: Kathleen Ruff is a longtime human rights activist. She was the first Director of the BC Human Rights Commission and Director of the Canadian Court Challenges Program. She received the Canadian Public Health Association’s award of National Public Health Hero and the Appreciation Award from the Asian Citizens Center for Environmental Health. She was awarded the Medal of the Quebec National Assembly.”

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